U.S.-Colombian plans to expand the number of U.S. troops in Colombia to
combat drug trafficking are part of a “positive plan for the
hemisphere” and are trying to fight what is hurting the continent,
State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday.
In his daily press conference, Wood reiterated that the U.S. is not creating bases of its own as implied by South American opponents of the plan, but is “working with our Colombian partner to try to deal with a problem that
you see in the hemisphere, and that’s drug – narcotics trafficking,” the spokesman said on his daily press conference in Washington.
Wood insisted that the U.S. have no other intentions than to stop the trafficking of drugs from South to North America. “Narcotics trafficking, as you know, is a very, very big concern not
only for the United States Government, but other governments in the
region and around the world. And we have to strengthen those
partnerships if we’re going to defeat and rid our hemisphere and the
world, frankly, of narcotics trafficking,” Wood said.
According to the State Department spokesman, the U.S. have been in close contact with the region’s leaders about the pending pact that should be appreciated as a positive thing for the region.
“We have a very positive plan for the hemisphere. We’re working to try
to bring prosperity, to try to fight narcotics trafficking, to try to
bring about justice, equal opportunity. But these are very, very
difficult and challenging problems. I mean, we have been very clear of
our support and we’ve been very transparent in terms of what we’ve been
trying to do. And as I said, we talk to ministers, heads of state, all
the time about our vision for the hemisphere. And we want to see a
hemisphere that is more democratic, more prosperous and more at peace.
And we’ll continue to work on – toward those objectives,” Wood said.
The spokesmen would not answer questions regarding “speculation” about Venezuela’s possible military response to U.S. troops in the neighboring country and reiterated that the U.S. have not supported any coup over the past few years.
The U.S. want to use Colombian military bases for its anti-narcotics operations in the region and is close to a deal with the Colombian government about this. Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia all reject the U.S.-Colombian plan and see it as a direct threat for their soveirgnty. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered a suspension of trade with Colombia and the purchase of arms to defend his country against a possible U.S. attack. Other South American leaders epressed concern over the plans, but say they “respect” Colombia’s decision.